“The lack of God in Unitarianism was its saving grace for me. Sermons involve spirituality, relationships, nature, communication, activism, politics, morality, and other non-deific subjects. But to others, the cognitive dissonance of a religion with no God is just too much. One Sunday when I was about twelve I brought my friend Jackie to church with me. This was my big chance. Jackie, who came from a fairly strict Christian home, would understand that I wasn’t so different from her, that I went to church, that my parents and I stood for something. But, as I had never been to a traditional church or Sunday school, I had no idea how strange and offensive my Unitarian experience would be to her. Maybe it was because we watched half of the movie New Jack City that day (admittedly, a dubious call for any gathering of children), maybe it was the kid who talked incessantly about war and video games, or maybe it was the sludgy hot chocolate, but suffice it to say that Jackie was appalled. Wide-eyed, her hand over her mouth in constant shock, she quietly took in everything. I can only imagine what she told her mother afterward, but I had some idea what her mother must have said back.
The next day at school, someone asked me what my favorite number was. I said 17, because it was, and because I was too naïve to see where this was going. It took me at least a day to notice the 666 scrawled on the side of my desk. A couple kids asked if I worshipped Satan. Even though I understood the power of rumors in the sixth grade, I just laughed. No one could possibly believe that.”